Bama Bound

Posted: March 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

This past weekend I traveled to Foley, Alabama to shoot in the ASA Pro/Am 3D Archery Tournament. When we arrived I was able to take some much needed time on the practice range. Excited to be at my first large 3D tournament, I found myself even more excited to have the opportunity to shoot with George Ryals (an incredible archery coach out of Georgia) and his students. Starting out cool on Saturday a.m. it warmed up quickly and turned out to be a warm and sunny day, but after buckets of rain previously in the week it was super muddy too. Although I started out a little rough, I finished strong enough to take 2nd place in the tournament. Since this was such a large tournament there was much to take in. Enjoying new friends and shooting a fun game of Aerial disks where you shoot foam disks in the air with recurve bows was extremely challenging, but loads of fun.

Staying at the RV park was awesome! In between all the archery, I was able to enjoy some fishing, fresh seafood and a little hot tub relaxation. I really hope to come back again next year and shoot in this tournament again because it was a great experience. However, next time, I’m going for 1st place.

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3 Days and 150 Arrows

Posted: February 24, 2016 in Competitions

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This past weekend I was able to compete in the NC NFAA State Championship and NFAA Southeastern Region Championship. It was two tournaments, one weekend, three days of shooting at my local shop, NC Hunter’s Supply, and one hundred fifty arrows. Friday evening was awesome. Since my parents were hosting their annual chili cookoff my Uncle Slade and Nonnie (grandma) went to cheer me on. Shooting a five-spot target, I finished strong with a perfect score of 300 and hitting 56 (out of 60) X’s and broke two State records. Since it was a later than I normally shoot, I was tired but adrenaline kept me awake and alert. This competition requires I shoot from ten yards because of my age and since I’m used to shooting from twenty yards it was great to switch it up.

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My Nonnie is a good sport!

On Saturday, I shot a personal best of 300 with 26 (out of 30) X’s and that wrapped up the State Championship. So, on Sunday I was shooting another sixty arrows for the Southeastern Regionals. My goal was to tie the top score of 300 with 60 X’s (a completely perfect score). When I ended up missing my goal by one X with a score of 300 and 59 X’s it was disappointing, but only for a few minutes because I was shooting with my great friend Eli. He is not only a role model for me, but a friend to share laughs with.
Managing to set two State records (unofficially at this point, until recorded) was really cool and a great accomplishment. I had a great time over the weekend and hopefully I will come back next year and do even better. With indoor season coming to a close and 3D archery season approaching, I’m off to Alabama this weekend and looking forward to some outdoor archery.

The Vegas Shoot 2016

Posted: February 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Last week I was fortunate enough to go to the world’s largest archery tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada called The Vegas Shoot. When we arrived after a long five-hour flight we settled into our spacious hotel room and took in the sights and lights of the Vegas Strip. Not my favorite place, but it was interesting to see. On Friday, I enjoyed visiting all the vendor booths at the archery trade show. Because my favorite booth was Mathews, I spent a lot of time there. I had the opportunity to check out all their new bows and meet many of the Mathews staff including Tanya who helped me get my Mathews sponsorship. Waking early Friday morning, I was eager to get going, but my range time wasn’t until 2:30. That gave my nerves time to flare up a little. To much time to think can be a terrible thing sometimes. I shared a target with another great archer who also shot a Mathews bow. Shooting together and getting to know one another was a ton of fun. After the first day, I ended up with a score of 281. Not my best, but not my worst either.

Learning that all archers usually drop a few points off their usual scores due to big tournament jitters made me feel a bit better. Taking the opportunity to attend George Ryals class on overcoming the mental game gave me some great tips on overcoming tournament anxiety. On Saturday, I felt more at ease and shot earlier. I was ready and shot a 284 and tied for 5th place, but received 6th because the tie breakers are decided by the number of X’s you shoot. I was happy to walk away from The Vegas Shoot taking 6th place among the other skilled shooters. Since I’m planning to go back next year, I’m confident I can do even better as I continue to compete and practice my skills.

Once competition was over, I was able to finally relax and watch the world final shoot outs. Congrats to all the Mathews shooters who took top places. Overall, it was a fantastic trip. Meeting and talking to some of the world’s best archers was exciting. I especially enjoyed meeting some of my favorites like: Chris Bee, Braden Gellenthien, Reo Wide and George Ryals. I even had the opportunity to meet up with my hero and friend Lincoln Tapp of YoungWild. You should really check out his show. It rocks! http://youngwild.tv/

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Lincoln and his friend Logan

The Vegas Shoot was a great experience that I will never forget. A special thank you to my sponsors Mathews Archery, Dead Center and Tru-Ball/Axcel. My equipment performed expertly. What an honor to be a part of your teams!

The Lancaster Classic – 2016

Posted: January 25, 2016 in Competitions

Despite the monster snow storm Jonas that decided to reap havoc on the Lancaster Classic, we made it up Wednesday and I was able to shoot at my scheduled time on Thursday.

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It was exciting day to be back in Lancaster, PA.  Meeting and watching the top archers in the world shoot was exhilarating, but shooting on the practice range Wednesday morning beside Reo & Logan Wilde was a once in a lifetime.

IMG_0422My line time was 12:30 on Wednesday, but we arrived early so I could get in some practice shots and could check out all the amazing vendors. Overall, I shot well ending up with a 580 for my age group of 11-17. I was disappointed that we had to leave early to get out of PA before the storm hit, but was able to watch the shoot off on the live stream video from home after lots of sledding time in the neighborhood. I’m happy that I was able to have the experience of a large tournament before we head to Las Vegas on Wednesday for the Vegas Shoot.

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New Year Announcement

Posted: January 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

I know it’s been several weeks since my last blog. I took Christmas off, of blogging that is, not archery! I’ve been busy with local archery events at NC Hunter’s Supply like the Santa Smack down, family visiting from Texas, adventures in the woods and collecting tree stands and trail cams for the end of deer season.

It’s with gratitude and excitement that I announce I’ll be going into the 2016 archery season with three sponsors. I would like to send out a BIG thank you to Mathews, T.R.U. ball/Axcel Archery and Dead Center Archery Products. I’m looking forward to representing them in Lancaster, PA and Las Vegas this month. That is just the beginning! It’s going to be a busy year of travel, but I can hardly wait. I hope you will stay tuned to hear more about this years tournaments and my adventures in archery.

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Until then, Happy New Year from my family to yours!

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JOAD Winter Indoor

Posted: December 8, 2015 in Competitions, Uncategorized

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On December 5th I was at HNS Archery in Henrico, Virginia for the JOAD Winter Indoor Tournament.  This was the first tournament I’d shot in since becoming Mathews Factory Staff so I was excited. Even though my jersey hadn’t arrived, I was honored to be there shooting my Mathews Chill SDX and representing their amazing company.

Shooting early on Saturday morning meant we had to arrive Friday evening. To make things exciting, my uncle drove my dad and me up in his RV Friday evening. It was the first time we had traveled that way and it was a lot of fun sitting on a couch and watching TV while we were on the road. Thanks, Uncle Slade!!!

After shooting a few practice arrows Saturday morning, I was feeling awake and confident my new Hornet fletchings were secure and ready to go. We shot 60 arrows and I ended up with a final score of 554 taking 2nd place behind my friend Camden who came in first. Overall, it was a fun weekend and great to get in a bit more practice to prepare for Vegas because every time I compete I learn another rule or strategy that helps me in the next tournament.

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Redemption

Posted: November 10, 2015 in Hunting

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My dad and I were invited to a friend’s farm* in Bertie County with the hopes of harvesting my first deer. After arriving and taking a closer look at the stands and blinds Friday evening, we realized that they were excellent set ups for hunting with guns, but not a bow. Putting up a few tree stands in various locations they told us about, put us in a greater position for success.
Hunting our stand on Saturday morning brought nothing in sight, so in the early evening we decided to head over to another stand we had set up on a spot called the Front Dip. My Dad was about 30 yards away from me in a stand across the power line clearing, so if I had a shot I would be on my own. Since this was the first time I had ever hunted alone in my stand, I was feeling a bit uneasy.
Around thirty minutes before dark I notice my Dad signaling from across the way. As I turn slowly, I spot a healthy 6-point buck heading my way quickly.

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                                             My tree stand                     The power line clearing between us

Coming within 10 yards of me, I strategically grab my Matthews Chill SDX bow from the tree. Rapidly, I drew my bow and squeezed the cold trigger. Boom! With a clean strong shot, my arrow made its way through the vitals. Praying we will find him, as we climb down from our stands, we discover my bloody arrow in the ground. It had gone all the way through. Shocked at what I saw, we began to follow the blood trail which grew easier to follow with each step.

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My Dad explained, “He can’t take much more of this, you hit him right in the pump station.”
As we approached a grassy area, I gazed up and noticed his white horn laying on the grown and my Dad exclaimed loudly, “There he is! WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” My heart almost flew out of my chest with excitement. Taking a while for the realization of what I had just accomplished took some time to sink in. Stooping down over the deer, I thanked him quietly.

Finally, I had redeemed myself for all the missed opportunities, lost shots and lost deer of the past two seasons. Driving the deer back to camp in the Gator was exhilarating. Greeted by congratulations and hand shaking helped the accomplishment sink in. I’m grateful to have a Dad who help me accomplish my dreams and for generous friends who allow me the opportunity to hunt their awesome land.

*I want to send out a special thank you to Mr. Brinley, Mr. Picott and his family for having me at their amazing farm. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to hunt their land and now it will have an even more special place in my heart as the place I harvested my first deer.